United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 5/7/16]
@guardiacostiera [5/7/16]: #SAR #NaveDiciotti #GuardiaCostiera termina operazioni soccorso a 1barcone 5gommoni e salva in totale 1104 #migranti
@MSF_Sea [5/7/16]: Nearly one quarter (23) of those rescued by the #Aquarius this afternoon are children traveling alone. #SAFEPASSAGE
@moas_eu [5/7/16]: #Phoenix: 453 people currently being assisted by #MOASCrew & @crocerossa. Many children under age 5.
¿Cómo puede Europa dar la espalda a esta siniestra realidad? [Proactiva Open Arms - 5/7/16]
Day 108 refugee protests, Nauru
Image: @elahe_zivardar [5/7/16]
Post election: Australian political, media and human rights establishment resume exploiting Syrians to cover up the government's atrocities against refugees and asylum seekers [ABC - 5/7/16]
As above ---> More than 200 founders, entrepreneurs, developers and investors took part in the Techfugees hackathon in April, with five teams selected to take part in the program to gain the skills needed to get a startup off the ground.
Last weekend these five startups came together again to present MVPs to a judging panel including Vicki Mau from the Red Cross, One10’s founder Geoff Gourley, LaunchPad’s David Thomas and the Difference Incubator’s Ishani Chattopadhyay.
They even had a surprise visit from Victorian minister for innovation Philip Dalidakis. ... [Start Up Smart - 5/7/16]
The lengths to which the Australian immigration department has gone to facilitate the repatriation of traumatised Syrian asylum seekers detained in offshore detention centres has been extensively revealed in departmental emails obtained under freedom of information laws. ... [Guardian - 19/8/14]
Australian branches of NGOs and human rights organisations should be shunned for such striking divergence from their international counterparts ----> ... Jelena Besedic from Save the Children in Serbia tells us how the fifty unaccompanied children that arrive at their safe zones every week are a result of Europe’s migration policies. ... [VIDEO - RT - 4/7/16]
Geneva report available in coming weeks? Why not NOW? LIVES ARE IMPERILLED. [Refugee Council of Australia - 5/7/16]:
... Questions asked of senior UNHCR representatives by Australian delegates include those focused on children in detention, access to UNHCR offices, addressing power imbalances between refugees and UNHCR staff, gender and education, the lack of action on Nauru and PNG, the strategic use of resettlement in the Asia Pacific region, corruption around resettlement processing, and a range of country-specific protection issues raised by diaspora communities in Australia.
A full report will be available in coming weeks.
PROVE IT. ----> UNHCR Indonesia says it has resettled 147 refugees in Australia this year [Jakarta Post - 4/7/16]:
As more people become displaced due to war, persecution and the tightening of border policies worldwide, asylum seekers currently residing in Indonesia must continue to be patient.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which is in charge of the verification and resettlement of refugees, said that amid the current global refugee crisis, resettling people outside of Indonesia was challenging and may take longer than usual.
UNHCR representative in Indonesia Thomas Vargas said the agency was working with the governments of Indonesia and neighboring countries to find the best solutions for refugees, which may include uniting people with family members in other countries, or asylum seekers voluntarily returning home if conditions were considered safe.
“Until these solutions can be identified, UNHCR very much appreciates the government’s generosity in granting refugees a temporary safe home in Indonesia. Even though Indonesia hosts a much smaller number of refugees than other countries in the region, its willingness to do so sends a strong message of international solidarity and a shared humanity,” Vargas told The Jakarta Post.
The UN refugee agency has recorded that 65 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced by war, armed conflict, serious human rights violations and other forms of persecution in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.
As of April, Indonesia was home to over 13,500 refugees and asylum seekers. The majority are in Greater Jakarta, while the remainder reside in cities like Makassar, Medan and Batam.
As a nonsignatory of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, Indonesia does not have the authority to determine the status of asylum seekers and must wait for verification by the UNHCR. However, as part of international law, Indonesia cannot expel people facing persecution in their countries of origin.
A recent case of Sri Lankan asylum seekers who landed at Lhoknga beach, Aceh, highlighted the reluctance of Indonesian authorities to host more asylum seekers after hundreds of Rohingya Muslims arrived a year earlier. Initially, the Sri Lankans were not allowed to leave their vessel, which authorities tried to push back out to sea.
Some days later, when the boat was no longer functioning, the migrants were allowed to come ashore.
Although asylum seekers and refugees are taken care of by the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), local officials have expressed concerns about hosting more migrants.
“Social problems arise when migrants marry locals because the migrants are forbidden to work or leave their shelters. It also raises questions about the status of their children,” said Yudi Kurniadi, North Sumatra Immigration Office head.
The Post has found cases of migrants living in the country for years, settling down with locals and starting families. However, their activities are confined to the shelters they live in, usually hotels or former government offices. They are not allowed to work.
The situation is not ideal for the asylum seekers and refugees who are usually aiming to reach a third country, such as Australia, Canada or the US.
Around 100 Rohingya Muslims recently protested in front of the UNHCR office in Medan, demanding transfers to third countries.
They accused the agency of discriminating against refugees in Indonesia, saying those in other countries were resettled more quickly. “I’ve been waiting here for years, but they never send me [anywhere]. I have married now,” said Muhammad Nur, a Rohingya Muslim who has been in Indonesia for five years.
In 2016 so far, the UNHCR has resettled 322 refugees who had been residing in Indonesia: 147 in Australia, four in Canada and 171 in the US. Vargas called on all people to respect the basic rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
“Refugees are ordinary people just like you and me. Preventing them from establishing families or having children would be a violation of their basic human rights,” he said.
Australia stopped accepting refugees in July 2014.
Secret federal government documents cast doubt over whether Australia told Indonesia and the United Nations about a retrospective ban on taking refugees from official channels.
In November last year Australia announced it would no longer accept refugees who applied for resettlement through the UN’S refugee agency in Indonesia.
The ban applied to anyone who registered with the UNHCR from 1 July 2014. ...
“We run when we see the police truck coming … we hide in the mangroves, sometimes until 10 pm, too afraid to come out.” Sabah's undocumented children - living on the run, and invisibilised by organisations like the UNHCR [VIDEO - Al Jazeera - May 2015]
Bangladeshi national arrested for attempting to enter Singapore – no-one even considers the possibility that he might be an asylum seeker [Channel News Asia – 5/7/16]
Three Filipino fishermen who were allegedly manhandled by Malaysian maritime policemen have filed a criminal complaint against their alleged tormentors on Friday at the office of the city's prosecutor here. ... [The Star - 4/7/16]
PNG border officers defend closure of traditional crossing routes, say they feel threatened [The National – 5/7/16]
UPNG academic year terminated [PNG Loop – 5/7/16]
Police in Madang are investigating the killing of three men who had their heads chopped off in Transgogol last Thursday. ... [The National - 5/7/16]
Assistant Commissioner of Police for the Northern command to visit Madang, discuss police brutality [The National – 5/7/16]:
... Madang town residents have raised concerns innocent members of the public being beaten by police, especially the newly-recruited police officers from Bomana Police College. ...
... Molotov cocktail, the local drink
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
They mix 'em up right
In the kitchen sink
And all she wants to do is dance ...
'All She Wants to Do Is Dance' is a song written by Danny Kortchmar and performed by Don Henley, co-lead vocalist and drummer for Eagles. ... [Wikipedia]
A suicide bomber who was targeting Police Headquarters in the city of Surakarta, Central Java, on Tuesday morning was stopped by a police officer, but a few minutes later the bomb exploded and killed the attacker.
According to Heri, a vendor at the scene, the suicide bomber on a motorcycle tried to barge into the Police Headquarters on Jalan Adi Sucipto at 7.30 am local time was intercepted by a policeman but the perpetrator managed to blow himself up and died.
"The attacker was killed at the scene and the policeman who tried to intercept him was injured and rushed to Panti Waluyo hospital," Heri said.
Preliminary reports indicated that the bomber had used low grade explosives in the homemade bomb, which like most improvised explosive devices (IEDs), contained ball-bearings and screws. ... [ANTARA - 5/7/16]
Thailand: Policeman killed, three others injured in Songkhla car bomb attack [The Nation – 5/7/16]
A Bangladeshi politician has spoken of his shock on discovering his son was one of the suspected gunmen who murdered foreign hostages, and said many young men from wealthy, educated families had gone missing. ... [NDTV - 5/7/16]
Man ‘hacks to death’ two including mother-in-law over ‘custodial dispute of children’ [bdnews24.com - 4/7/16]
A 53-year-old Gold Coast man allegedly assaulted by his son in a one-punch attack has died in hospital.
Mark Bradley McGrice was allegedly punched in the face by his 25-year-old son Morgan Isles-English in Brisbane's CBD yesterday afternoon. ... [ABC - 5/7/16]
3 China Coast Guard vessels enter Japanese waters near Senkakus [Japan Today - 5/7/16]
China strongly criticized Japan over a scramble of military aircraft from the two countries on Monday amid a dispute over islands in the East China Sea. ... [Reuters - 4/7/16]
67 killed as nearly 800 insurgents launched coordinated attacks in Khost [Khaama - 4/7/16]
Nearly a dozen would-be suicide bombers were among at least 24 militants killed in an explosion in southern Zabul province on Monday, officials said. ... [Pajhwok - 4/7/16]
12 killed in US drone strike, Ghazni province [TOLO News - 4/7/16]
A United States drone strike has killed at least 14 people in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar Province. ... [Albawaba - 3/7/16]
Trump, Clinton both refuse to explain why they share same address in Delaware [Mint Press News - 26/4/16]
@wikileaks [4/7/16]: Ahead of the #Chilcot report: 1258 Hillary Clinton emails on #Iraq ...
Senior figures from Labour and the Scottish National party are considering calls for legal action against Tony Blair if the former prime minister faces severe criticisms from the long-awaited inquiry into the war in Iraq.
A number of MPs led by Alex Salmond are expected to use an ancient law to try to impeach the former prime minister when the Chilcot report comes out on Wednesday.
The law, last used in 1806 when the Tory minister Lord Melville was charged for misappropriating official funds, is seen in Westminster as an alternative form of punishment that could ensure Blair never holds office again. ... [Guardian - 4/7/16]
@SuchNigel [4/7/16]: We are here don't forget us. Protest in #Nauru ...
Abbas Alaboudi is a wonderful artist, and one of Australia’s political prisoners, detained for three years on Nauru.
Abbas’s paintings powerfully convey the loneliness and hardship of indefinite internment on an island far from home, and far from Australia, where he dreamed he would find protection and freedom.
He says of his painting ” this is about my situation on Nauru” [Sister Jane - 8/6/16]
UN Victory in Assange Case: Decision has big implications for refugees and whistleblowers - but Australia's establishment international law and refugee rights experts ignored the majority decision, and inexplicably focussed on the minority dissenting opinion [Center for Constitutional Rights - 5/2/16]:
... In our briefs to the WGAD, we argued that someone is effectively detained when they are forced to choose between confinement and running the risk of persecution.
That is the precise dilemma faced by Mr. Assange, who would lose the protection of his asylum if he stepped out of the embassy.
The risk of extradition is the 'fourth wall' for the now repudiated claim that he is free to leave the embassy. As a result, it has been years since Mr. Assange has had access to proper medical care, sunlight, or the ability to see his family.
The WGAD's decision in Mr. Assange's case sets an important precedent for refugees.
In our submissions we analogized the situation faced by Mr. Assange to that of asylum-seekers in detention facilities.
States may claim that asylum-seekers held in subhuman conditions are not 'detained' because they are technically free to leave for their home country, but this is a non-choice, since the home country would persecute the asylum seeker.
The WGAD decision could mean that so-called 'open' facilities like the Israeli Holot, deep in an Israeli desert, and the Australian-run center in Nauru are legally equivalent to closed prisons. ...
The Nauru MP and former president, Sprent Dabwido, says he suspects the government has intervened to stop local media from running the opposition's campaign advertising. ... [RNZI - 5/7/16]
US Ambassador Cefkin with the Republic of Nauru media team. [US Embassy Suva - 17/8/15]
The PNG Supreme Court has ruled Australia's refugee concentration camp on Manus Isand ILLEGAL. Where are the demands from our legal fraternity and academic community for FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR THESE MEN? ---> @ANUBellSchool [5/7/16]: Money, manipulation & misunderstanding on Manus | @AsiaPacSecurity in today's @canberratimes
"HOW CAN YOU SIT AND WATCH WHILE OUR LIVES WASTE AWAY?" @racvictoria [5/7/16]: 53 days of peaceful protests on #Manus ...
Manus Island refugee concentration camp goon (and wife) want special citizenship privileges for a local baby that they stole [Yahoo - 5/7/16]:
A Brisbane couple want a two-year-old boy, who was born on Manus Island and they consider their "son", to be granted Australian residency to prevent him being deported.
Craig and Karen Wells say they have cared for the child, who they have called "Cal", for more than a year and have not been able to contact his parents since Christmas.
The couple, from Deception Bay, north of Brisbane, claim the boy's Papua New Guinea-based father, who worked with Mr Wells at the Manus Island Detention Centre, gave them permission to raise the child when he visited Australia last year.
Mr and Mrs Wells say Cal's father told them he did not have the means to take care of Cal himself and the boy was going to be given away to another village.
They have set up a change.org petition to put pressure on the immigration department to overturn its decision to reject a permanent residency application for the boy.
The petition states that Cal is a "very much loved and wanted child in his Australian family and our wider community".
"He is a beautiful, funny, cheeky little boy who just wants to be loved and cared for and we are fighting the decision to deport him."
The couple did apply for Cal to be placed on an orphan visa but that has been rejected.
The decision is under review by the Administrative Appeal Tribunal.
They said they have had to travel back and forth to PNG every three months to renew Cal's temporary visa, which has put the family under strain financially, physically and emotionally.
A crowd funding page to assist the family with legal and travel bills has also been set up.
So far 896 signatures have been attained, about a third of the 2500 target, and $1125 has been raised towards the $5000 goal on the gofundme.com website.
US: Asylum seekers bring lawsuit against Department of Homeland Security [The Hill - 1/7/16]
Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayid reiterated his demands to be freed by Israeli authorities from administrative detention, preemptively rejecting an offer to be deported in lieu of being freed to his hometown of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.
Lawyer Karim Ajweh, affiliated with the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, said after visiting the prisoner in Israel’s Ashkelon prison that Kayid would never agree to any deal with Israel that includes deportation.
“I won’t end my hunger strike unless my administrative detention is ended and I am released immediately,” stressed Kayid, who was placed in administrative detention -- internment without charges or trial -- on June 13, the day he was scheduled to be released from prison after serving a 14-and-a-half-year sentence. ... [Maan - 4/7/16]
Israel allows lethal force on stone throwers: report [Al Jazeera - 4/7/16]
Israeli leaders have approved plans to build some 800 housing units for settlers in and around East Jerusalem, Israeli media reports said. ... [Reuters - 3/7/16]
@Mogaza [1/7/16]: #DidYouKnow that this #Gaza minaret was build from the ruins of demolished homes during #Gaza wars
With Brexit, Israel loses a major asset in the European Union [Haaretz - 25/6/16]
Israel is secretly deporting thousands of refugees to statelessness in Africa under “Rwanda or Saharonim policy” [Think Progress - 3/7/16]
40 Holocaust survivors condemn massacre of Palestinians, call for BDS against Israel [Mondoweiss - 26/8/14]:
... The letter calls out Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who was the author of another advertisement that ran in the New York Times calling on Hamas to reject “child sacrifice” and casting the Israel/Palestine conflict as a “battle of civilization against barbarism.”
“Reading the Elie Wiesel ad made me literally sick to my stomach,” said Maia Ettinger, whose mother and grandmother survived the Holocaust by escaping the Warsaw ghetto.
“The ad is an act of towering and transparent projection because what is barbaric is collective punishment, and what is barbaric is indiscriminate bombing.” ...
Early today, reports were emerging that a stray artillery shell from Syria may have found its way into the Israeli occupied Golan Heights.
It didn’t quite, but it did damage the military’s fence along the line of control, providing a pretext for Israel to attack Syria some more. ... [Antiwar - 4/7/16]
... Israel is launching a $13-million aid package to strengthen economic ties and cooperation with African countries.
Israel would also provide African states with training in "domestic security" and health, an Israeli statement read.
Netanyahu said he would attend an "historic summit" with seven African leaders while in Uganda.
After Uganda, Netanyahu will travel on to Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda. ... [Naharnet - 4/7/16]
Hundreds protest in Nairobi over police killing of Kenyan rights lawyer [Reuters – 4/7/16]
A protest by Zimbabwean taxi drivers against a police crackdown turned violent when residents joined in and hurled rocks at police, who fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse the rioters. ... [Al Jazeera - 4/7/16]
Suicide bombers hit three Saudi cities, killing at least four officers [Reuters – 4/7/16]
US drone strike kills three in Yemen [Yahoo - 5/7/16]
@alradhi_[4/7/16]: My girl turns 5 today. 5 of which 16 months living under heavy aerial attacks Thats 30% of her life #FourthofJuly
Saudi Arabia should be suspended from the U.N.'s top human rights organization because of indiscriminate airstrikes by the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen that have killed hundreds of civilians, including women and children, human rights groups said Wednesday.
Officials with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch told reporters at a joint news conference that their investigators documented 69 unlawful airstrikes by the U.S.-backed coalition that killed at least 913 civilians — including about 200 children.
They said airstrikes hit homes, markets, hospitals, schools and mosques.
The groups also said they documented 19 coalition attacks involving internationally banned cluster munitions, including in civilian areas. ... [AllGov.com - 4/7/16]
2 dead, 7 injured in car bombing in eastern Libya [Press TV – 3/7/16]
Five people were killed and another 22 were wounded early on Saturday when a man entered a cafe in northern Serbia and opened fire with an assault rifle, police said.
Police arrested the suspect, a man in his late 30s identified only as Z.S., immediately after the shooting during a local festival in the village of Zitiste, around 80 kilometers north of Belgrade. ... [Reuters - 2/7/16]
Iraqi PM orders immediate execution of all terrorists on death row [Sputnik News - 4/7/16]
The American ambassador to the United Arab Emirates expressed regret Monday over the handcuffing of an Emirati man wearing traditional garments in Ohio over terrorism fears. ... [CBS - 4/7/16]
5 July 2016